Category Archives: Life

Don’t Be A Slave To Your Own Perception

We are born believing that anything is possible.  As we grow we are taught rules and given boundaries.  We start out believing the world is a  giant place with endless possibilities, but are then told the world is small, harsh, overpopulated, and we can only go so far in life.

Do you remember the first time you reached up and tried to touch the moon?  You did so fully believing it was possible.  You hadn’t been told how far away it was.  All you knew is that it was there in front of you so you tried to reach it.  Once told how far away the moon is most of us step back and never attempt to reach it again.  Yet there are people who actually have touched the moon.  They didn’t let the distance get in their way.  They didn’t let the obstacles get in their way.  They kept reaching and fighting until they tore through the binding chains of limitations and touched the very thing that was supposed to be impossible to reach.

We bind ourselves down with our own created limitations.  We stop believing that we can achieve what we desire because of these limitations and rules that we have been taught.  Unlearn these things.  Open your eyes and see the world as we did when we first entered into it.

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Remembering How To Get Lost

My parents owned a lot of land & as a kid one of my favorite things to do was wake up extra early (around 6 am) and go “exploring” with our dogs.  About a 1-2 minute walk away from their house was a large forest area that spanned around 9-10 acres & the dogs & I would get lost in it for hours at a time.  I felt like an explorer discovering new lands.  We created trails through the brush and found little “secret” places within.  I watched as the dogs hunted rabbits & squirrels and followed along as if I was actually helping (I was not). From the age of 10-13 this was my main form of entertainment.  Then, naturally, as I grew older I moved on to video games, tv, and of course girls.

When I lost my mom and sister, my wife & I moved back to this area to help my dad, and in return he gave us some of his land.  Before he passed we built a house on this land & I can see those same woods outside the window of my current home.  We have been here for over 3 years and for some reason my interaction with those woods have been limited to me staring at them from a distance, until today.

One of the things I do when I need inspiration for my writing or just need to clear my head is walking.  Today I needed some serious inspiration so the dog & I walked around our property and ended up finding ourselves outside of these same woods.  My dog spent a great deal of time running in & out of these woods while I walked on the outside with a huge smile on my face.   At some point she disappeared deep into the woods & I couldn’t see her anymore.  I got as close to the outlying trees as possible, without actually going into the woods, and tried to find her but couldn’t.  Now I wasn’t worried because she can take care of herself but I realized just how ridiculous I was being.  These were the same woods I used to spend hours running through as a kid & I was pretending there was some kind of force-field stopping me from walking past a certain distance.

Sure there were trees and bushes that were, seemingly, blocking my entrance but somehow as a kid I was able to get past them.  If I brushed past the bushes and trees it was possible I may get a scratch or two from a branch or thorn, it was also possible that whatever clothing I had on would get a little dirty, but as a kid it didn’t matter.  So I went in.  After over a decade those trails and “secret” places were still there.  They hadn’t left, I had.  For the next hour or so I returned to “exploring” and helping/hurting my dog as she attempted to chase down a couple of rabbits.

 

The point of this blog is that today I realized I had created a barrier.  There was something that was still possible to do but over the years my brain had been hot-wired into believing it wasn’t.  For those few hours I remembered how to get lost in the woods all over again.  I wasn’t thinking about bills, or work, or writing.  For those few hours I remembered how it used to be when I still had my mother, father, and sister.  When I could go exploring for hours and when I was tired I came home where my only worry was my mom telling me to clean my home, and  my dad yelling at me for avoiding my mother because I didn’t want to clean my room.  For those few hours it still seemed possible that when I came home my brother would be fighting with my sister, and I would be trying to force them to come outside with me and play basketball or football.  As a child I knew how to live in the present.  Whereas now so much of my time is spend planning for the future, and at times being weighed down by the past.

This is not a sad post, this is actually a happy one.  Those great memories are just like those trails and secret places.  They were still there.  They hadn’t left, I had.  Today I remembered how to get lost, to live in the moment and let the past melt away around me.

My demand to all my blogger friends out there is that you go do something that was once possible, but you now believe isn’t.  Return to a point in time in your life where the only thing that matters is that moment, even if that’s as long as it lasts.

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Filed under Life, Loss, Writing

How Best To Exploit My (Future)Child

As many of you are aware my wife is currently pregnant.  This is our first child together which means that our lives are soon going to change very drastically.  This also means while my spawn is cooking in her belly we need to start making plans for the future.  Safety proofing the house, setting up its room, setting up a college fund, finding a babysitter, and finding ways to exploit it for my financial gain.

There is the Professional Athlete road.  Most professional sports pay very well but it would be in my best interest if I steered them towards basketball, football, or baseball.

Based on my extensive research it appears that is the best way to get a big paycheck down the road, as well as various houses and cars.  The downfall of course is that this can be time consuming and cost money.  I will have to take them to various practices and games, not to mention getting them into athletic camps to help mold them into a human money generator.  Not only that but I will have to push them incredibly hard and make sure they realize the only way to get daddy’s love is to be the best, which could take a lot of work on my part.  Plus there is the Tiger Woods scenario where they will make a ton of money but due to the physiological issues  of not having a normal childhood they will do something incredibly stupid.  Sure I will already have a great payday but it could be embarrassing when I try to go hang out at the country club.

Then there is the musical prodigy route.

Musical artists make lots of money and due to their popularity can start new trends.  This will give me an extra source of revenue once I start a new brand of clothing in their image.  There are some risks though.  One, they might not have any musical talent, which isn’t necessarily required but can make it harder to break into the biz.  Second in order to gain popularity I will need to have my prodigy dress “risque”, so if my child is a girl then is a possibility for early pregnancy due to the inappropriate clothing they will have to wear.  This will not generate any money & could actually cost me money down the road.

These are only a couple of the things I am considering at this time.  My wife is not due until March so I have plenty of time to come up with ideas before I have to start implementing them.  My wife has not been much help though as she seems to have a problem with the whole “exploitation” thing, but I am sure I can get her to come around to my way of thinking.

 

Also just in case I haven’t made it clear, I’m kidding  🙂

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Filed under Humor, Life

Flawed Heroes

I believe that one of the worst moments for a child is the day they realize their parents are human, that they’re not perfect.  Suddenly this world that you seem to understand so perfectly is turned upside down.

Now this moment doesn’t have to be something incredibly traumatic, for myself it was something very small.  My father worked at a factory from 2pm-midnight and sometimes when he came home he would bring me candy.  Now he told me that he got it at work so as a kid I imagined this giant candy store in the middle of this old dusty factory.  I would ask him questions about this Wonka-Candy factory within a factory and he would tell stories that would leave me starry eyed.  It wasn’t until I went on a tour with him once that he admitted there wasn’t really a candy store within his work, he just liked how amazed I seem to be when he told this story.

The realization that my dad had a normal job and had lied to me caused my child-like mind to pause for a second.  From that point on I no longer believed him whole-heartily.  Again it was minor and I wasn’t mad but it caused me to question things from there on out. 🙂

My father was a great man, flawed, but great.  I remember playing cowboys and Indians with him until the sun set.  I remember running around the yard playing lazer tag until the lazer tag belts ran out of charge.  I can still remember trying to stay on his knee as we pretended it was a horse desperately trying to buck me off.  I can remember playing video games with him and every time he lost a life he would accuse the game of cheating.

I also remember the times that bring pain and disappointment.  I remember the fights he had with my mother when she questioned his fidelity.  I remember him being combative at work and having a hard time keeping a job.  I remember having to try and keep him together when my mom & sister passed despite the fact that I felt like I was falling apart.  I remember him failing to take care of himself and ending up in & out of the hospital.  I remember him in a wheel chair, not able to walk, and barely able to take care of himself until the day he passed.

So what does it all mean?  I’m still searching for the answer.  I am the person that I am today because of his example, because of what he taught me.  I watched as he opened the door for others, answered yes ma’am to ladies, and was always willing to help out a perfect stranger.  In the end I believe we have to take the good with the bad.  My father wasn’t perfect, but I hope I learned from his flaws, hopefully the same way he learned from his father’s flaws.

Even with all the bad I can still say that I am proud to have called him my father.  No matter what life holds for me if, at the end of the day, my (future) children can say the same thing about me, then he did his job.

The funny thing is that as a child the first story I heard that took me to a special place, that captured my imagination, and that placed a picture in my head so permanently that I can still remember what I thought it looked like today, was my father telling me about that magical candy store in the middle of an old dusty factory.

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Filed under Life

On The Precipice Of Change

Some of you may have noticed that I have been a little quiet lately.  I know the usual excuse is the “Life Got In The Way” response, and that is definitely the one I will be throwing out.  You see my wife and I have been married for almost 5 years but we have been together for nearly 11 years (High School Sweet-hearts, cue the collective Awwwwwwww).  We have had our good and bad times.  We’ve had some great adventures (vacations) and some adventures that I would like to forget.  The one thing we haven’t had together is a child, but that is about to change.

About 3 weeks ago my wife visited me at work to inform me that it appears I will be a father.  Everything kind of went dark and I don’t really remember much directly after that.  I do remember attempting to be productive at work and failing miserably. 🙂

Now I’m 29 years old and by now most of my friends have already brought another life or two (or three or four) into the world.  My wife and I intentionally held off for various reasons ranging from her wanting to go back to school first, wanting to take another vacation together, and not wanting to have to pay for day care ever.  Yet I am a firm believer that what ever is supposed to happen will happen.

Just to be clear I do consider this to be great news!  Scary, but still great news.  I have enjoyed the “Just The Two Of Us” lifestyle that my wife and I have had all these years, but I am excited about opening a completely new chapter in our lives together.  I have been told of what awaits me in the months & years to follow, but in this case instead of reading or being told about the adventure I’m ready to take it on my own.

Also send money.

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What Breaks Your Emotional Wall?


Anyone that has ever cried while consuming some type of media knows the exact moment their emotional wall breaks down.  Some people try to hold it back but the pressure keeps building and building until eventually the whole thing bursts, which usually equates to copious amounts of tears  🙂

The funny thing is that there are certain triggers that can cause the wall to break without much pressure at all.   Take my wife for example.  If we watch a TV show & there is even a hint that an animal is suffering or in trouble she freezes in place and tears are never far behind.  Her biggest weakness is a male crying.  If we watch a TV show or movie and there is middle aged father crying she loses it completely.  I know that is a very specific scenario but without fail every time it knocks down her emotional wall.

I am sure a psychologist would have a field day looking into why certain triggers cause certain people to break down, but I find it just as interesting as a writer.  Everyone is different but there are universal triggers out there that can cause an emotion to automatically manifest.  If you can discover these triggers and masterfully integrate them into you story then you can give your novel quite the powerful punch.

Also since I kind of threw my wife under the bus I guess I should  admit to what quirky thing causes my emotional barriers to crumple into a thousand pieces.  Young teenagers who have had a tough life but give back to the community in a meaningful way, sounds cheesy I know.  There is something about a person who has had so many things go against them but still finds a way to overcome it, be a good person, and give back that causes my eyes to leak all over the place.

Now that I have embarrassed myself what breaks down your emotional wall?

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Filed under Life, Ramblings

The Official Appreciation Blog

I just wanted to dedicate a blog to thank everyone who commented on my Main Character post. This ended up being a very cathartic experience not just in writing it, but in sharing and reading the feedback.  Thank you all for reading and sharing your personal stories.

I have only been blogging for about a month but I have already interacted with some people in the blog-o-sphere that have really made my life better.  Whether it’s writing advice (Thanks Linda , Kimberly, and Barbara), or helping me come to the realization that others share my demented sense of humor (Frank, I’m looking at you).

So again thanks all for doing what you do!

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Filed under Life